Mike Trout is far and away the best baseball player in the MLB. Problem is he's not on a good team. The Angels in 5 years with Mike Trout have only made the playoffs once and have had a losing record 2 of the 5 years he's been there. Obviously when you're the best player baseball people expect your team to be highly competitive, which hasn't been the case with the Angels recently. It doesn't help that they're playing in one of the toughest divisions in baseball with the Rangers, Astros, and Mariners all being very good teams. The Angels haven't been to the playoffs in 2 years, Mike Trout is the reigning MVP, and although regular season awards are great, October is where legends are made. Will Mike Trout be able to carry the Angels into the postseason in 2017?
With the competition in the AL West it's going to be nearly impossible to win the division. The Wildcard will be just as competitive, so if the Angels want to get in they're going to have to win 90+ games. Now, is their roster talented enough to do so because Mike Trout obviously can't lead an entire baseball team to 90+ wins by himself.
The Angels lineup should be improved from last year. The Angels added Cameron Maybin and Danny Espinosa to the lineup. Maybin was great last year when he was healthy, if he can be a good contact hitter for this team while providing a speed threat on the bases he could really benefit a lineup that struggled last season. Espinosa isn't going to get on base much, his .209 average last year clearly suggests that, however he is a nice power threat. Meanwhile last year they had hot garbage at second base, so Espinosa is a nice upgrade. Andrelton Simmons is a premier defender at shortstop and last year he improved drastically at the plate. He went from being a .260 hitter to a .282 hitter last season, if he an stay right around that .280 range he'll be a key asset to this team' succeeding. Kole Calhoun is really going to have to step up and be the third star in this lineup, the more he produces the more competitive the Angels will be. Calhoun is a true X factor in how far the Angels will go this season. Pujols you know what you're getting with him at this point, a lot of power, not a high average, which is a perfect role for him in this lineup. If the lineup lives up to expectations they'll certainly be an above average offense in terms of scoring.
The pitching staff is where the cause for concern is. No matter how many runs the Angels can score the still have to be able to hold the other team to less runs in order to win, obviously. They'll get their ace Garrett Richards back this year which is a huge boast to this staff. Matt Shoemaker showed a lot of promise last year and just might be able to turn into a very good pitcher. Tyler Skaggs is a young arm looking to take advantage of his opportunity in his first full year healthy back from injury. If he can be the pitcher they expect him to be he'll be a big boost to this poor rotation. The other two starters don't look promising so it's tough to be optimistic about them, but in baseball you never know, maybe they'll get the job done. As for the bullpen they have 3 solid arms in Huston Street, Andrew Bailey, and Cam Bedrosian. They should be able to hold down the bullpen for the most part, so I don't see much cause for concern there. If the starters can out do themselves then this team can actually be quite successful.
Mike Trout is still going to need to have one of the greatest seasons ever to get this team into the postseason. I'm talking 40 steals, 40 homers, hit .325+, 130 RBIs, and be a vacuum in center field. That's the only possible way the Angels even sniff playing in October this season. It's a tall task to say the least, however when your the greatest player of a generation the expectations are supposed to be high. Let's see just how legendary Mike Trout truly is.